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Lester Young

Lester Young (Saxophone)

Born: 27th August 1909, Woodville, Mississippi, USA

Died: 15th March 1959, New York, New York, USA

Nationality: American

Lester Willis Young nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist.

Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument. In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young played with a relaxed, cool tone and used sophisticated harmonies, using what one critic called "a free-floating style, wheeling and diving like a gull, banking with low, funky riffs that pleased dancers and listeners alike".

Further Reading: Lester Young

Classic Recordings, Lester Young and the Kansas City Six

Nat Hentoff said the Kansas City Six sessions would be the record he'd rescue if his building was on fire... 80 years on they're still worth the risk.

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